Thursday, 25 July 2013


Figures in the news today claim that more children than ever were excluded from Primary Schools last year and 45% of those were for physical assault.

The sad news that boys are three times more likely than girls to be excluded makes me wonder about the reasons. Boys as young as 4 and 5 years old are being labelled as troublemakers and, whilst I'm sure that they are children who have difficulties, it sends shivers down my spine as I think of the consequences of these labels on their young lives.

Are our boys frustrated with a system that doesn't recognise their need for action? Do we need to be teaching boys respect for others and themselves? Are these boys lacking men who will show them how to deal with their anger? And, dare I say it, has the rise of feminism in education meant that boys no longer know who they are supposed to be?

Of course, I'm not making excuses for bad behaviour but as a Mum I know that some situations will induce more difficult behaviour than others in my boys. It is hard for them to sit still and quiet for a long time without being given opportunity to move, for example. And in an education system that is increasingly heading towards the Victorian era, children who have not been taught Victorian values will struggle. It's not easy for boys to behave well in class. There are a whole load of reasons not to, and those who do work hard at it.

I'm no expert, but perhaps the boys who are being excluded need help rather than labels. Maybe they need compassion instead of exclusion. Perhaps our education system needs to be more geared up for different learning styles instead of squeezing all our children, boys and girls included, into one simple box and punishing those who flail at being squeezed.

Just my thoughts. What are yours?

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